Mapping charity picked for crisis response network

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BUCKS-BASED charity MapAction is to join a network of experts which can be called on by government in times of international crisis, such as famine, floods and earthquakes.

The network will mobilise lifesaving support from Britain’s best businesses and charities in the critical hours after a disaster strikes.

Supplies, experts and vital aid are too often tied up with paperwork, rather than being deployed straight to the disaster zone, International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said.

MapAction provides up-to-date maps of areas where the terrain may have been changed drastically by disaster.

It is based in Saunderton, although it has links to the firm Esri, which is based in Walton Street, Aylesbury.

Nigel Woof from MapAction said: ‘‘MapAction needs to get to the disaster zone immediately so we can be the pathfinders for the agencies bringing in life saving relief aid.

“We’re delighted that the government is strengthening our ability to fulfil our specialist role in disaster response.’’